Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hardcore '84: Prince "Computer Blue"

Prince at his most purple. In the year 1984, he blew the roof off of the music world with the release of Purple Rain. He was melding all sort of sounds that had never been mixed before, and it routinely blew minds—especially when it came to sci-fi funk-rock workouts like "Computer Blue," taken from his masterpiece album. This 1983 live version (well before the release of Purple Rain the following year) is Prince at his best, up close and personal with the crowd, just killing 'em. Awesome.

Hardcore '84: Breakin' (featuring Ice-T)

1984 was no joke. The year stands as one of the greatest 12 months of American pop culture ever. Exhibit A: this amazing dance battle sequence from the hit movie Breakin'. Breakin' was such a box office success that the sequel (the notoriously titled Electric Boogaloo) hit theaters only a few months after the original (both in the calendar year of 1894). The MC hosting the battle is the one and only Ice-T. So the next time someone tries to pop off about Ice-T not being down, throw this clip at 'em. Ice has been representing for years, yo. And he's down with Mariska Hargitay. You can't front on that.

Detroit Flashback: Boblo Island


Once upon a time, Detroit had it's very own amusement park. What made it doubly cool was that it was located on its very own island just off the shore of the city, actually in Canadian waters. Which meant that to get there, you had to ride the Boblo Boat, and old-fashioned steamer ferry that would shuttle packs of kids and their harried parents to the park.

Boblo was one of those places that you would go to at least once a summer as a kid. But as one got older, the lure of the then burgeoning "mega-coasters" at nearby parks like Cedar Point overshadowed Boblo's far more meager attractions.

Still, nothing could ever top the party that would always happen on the boat ride, especially coming back in the late afternoon/early evening. The DJ would spin the funky radio hits of the day (Michael Jackson was a perennial), and it was Dance Party USA, Motown style. Boblo ruled.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The day the music died: Indie 103.1-FM R.I.P.

This pretty much says it all. Like we need any more bad news around here...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flashback: Richie Hawtin, Detroit, early 1990s

So. Facebook is killing me right now. More specifically, a very old and dear friend, Adriel Thorton, is the one blowing my mind. He's started a new Facebook group that revolves around the Detroit party scene of the early '90s.

I was as front and center as humanly possible. I went to every party, checked out every DJ, and pretty much indulged in the scene to a degree that crossed over into unhealthy.

This photo of Rich at St. Andrews Hall (found on said Facebook page) just brought it all rushing back—the thrill involved in making your way to the right place, at the right time, and experiencing something you'll never, ever forget.

Richie Hawtin was often the catalyst of such events in and around Detroit back in the day. The guy just had a knack for a good time. From the music to the setting to, well, you know the rest—it was always something more than just a party. It all seems even more surreal now than it did then...